Belfast Telegraph

Bees find sanctuary at foot of the Sperrin Mountains

By Annamay McNally

An ancient hill fort in Co Tyrone with links to Irish fairy folklore has been transformed into a sanctuary for the native queen bee.

It is thought the apiary, at the foot of the Sperrin Mountains in Lisnanane, will host Ireland's first tree and log hives, a practice which dates back thousands of years and is seen as the most natural form of beekeeping.

Members of the public can also now visit the unique attraction, which boasts a newly constructed car park, walkways through the hill fort and surrounding woodlands, and a new observation cabin and classroom.

Arborist Jeremy Turkington, from the Mid Ulster Beekeeping Association, said: "This project started off as a research study in Greenmount Agricultural College almost 10 years ago to test whether biodiversity could be improved without the use of government subsidies.

"Our new hill fort apiary is a small part of a wider natural heritage project in the area to preserve the local genetic character of trees in the Ballinderry River catchment.

"Thanks to the co-operation of local landowners it has evolved into a more comprehensive landscape improvement initiative and a serious effort to improve the status of our native pollinators, especially our native honeybee colonies."

Belfast Telegraph


From Belfast Telegraph